By: Jonathan Doyle

What is the kernel of the issue?

The Chinese Government is executing and aggressively funding a series of strategies (such as China 2025) to expand its economic and technological position against the United States. In 5G, just as in AI or infrastructure, China provides easy-to-access financing, diplomatic and R&D support to its national champions such as Huawei. Access to cheap financing means the same technology offered by a strictly commercial entity is now uncompetitive in many nations.

Why is the issue important?

China leverages ownership of the internet and connectivity systems to universally surveil its citizens to target anyone who disagrees with the CCP and leverages these technologies to oppress specific communities such as the Uyghurs. This suite of surveillance and influence technologies are exportable and, when overlaid on a Chinese managed telecommunications system, can severely limit the freedoms of speech and connectivity enjoyed by many global internet users. Currently, more than 500 million people use telecommunications systems powered and managed by Huawei.

What is the recommendation?

The Biden administration should work with allies to create an integrated, easy-to-access funds mechanism that can sponsor a range of competing technological approaches to compete with Huawei, ZTE and their Chinese government-controlled finance. The US must develop a technologically knowledgeable organization to be proactive about enabling finance and explaining to host nations what their options are for finance.